Cinema Diary - Vol 4 E7 - Nov & Dec
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The 7th Victim (1943)
This is a tough film. I'm not quite sure how this film made it to the NY Times "Must See" list. As far as action and story I found this to be one of Lewton's weaker films. There is a passionate moment that was so weak "I love you" could have been "I made more coffee".
The only reason I can see this as being a "Must See" film, is that the subtext in the film is pretty clear. So, this does help set the stage for some of Lewton's other films.
So, over all this isn't my favorite Lewton film but perhaps my opinion of the film will improve over time.
The Leopard Man (1943)
Wanted to watch one more Lewton film since I didn't really watch too many horror or thriller films in October. There are some great scenes that actually get used in future horror films and the 'not getting to the door on time' is one that I still find effectively disturbing.
Much like Lewton's other films the weakest aspect are the main characters who are bland and pretty much everyone they interact with is far more interesting.
The East (2013)
Mmm, well this wasn't as bad as I thought but that isn't saying much. The 'morality play' is pretty dull... and lacks any kind of sophistication.
The Square (2008)
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
I was pretty surprised by this film. I'm starting to find that most of the 'war' films that I like are made prior to the 1980's.
This is definitely a film I should have watched sooner.
The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
My weak areas of films by genre are: the documentary, sports films, musicals, romance and westerns. So, it was time to catch up on a few of the classics.
The Shop Around the Corner, is sweet and clever. No not many surprises since the this film seems to be the root of later formula films. Still, worth the effort.
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
The only thing that really bothered me about the film is that it felt too short and too rushed but a film I'm sure to watch again in the future.
Adam's Rib (1949)
Yes, it is true Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn are wonderful on screen together. I wouldn't say 'chemistry' so much as comfortable timing.
Spencer Tracy, Marlene Dietrich, Montgomery Clift, Judy Garland and William Shatner... which made for a surreal cast line up. Especially since most of them wouldn't make many more films after this. This added another creepy level to an already disturbing film.
By the time of sitting down and actually watching this film... I think I had seen most of the important scenes in various movie clips. Which distracted from enjoyment of this film. Also, I'm also coming to realize that the 'sword and sandal' epics bore me to death. Last year I tried to start watching the "Spartacus" tv serise... which just struck me as stylized soft core porn and I didn't make it past the second episode. Which brings me to the 1960's Spartacus and unattractive men in granny panties hitting each other with wooden swords.
So, this was sort of a chore to sit through but it wasn't because of the run time. Still, it was interesting and I was compelled enough to stick to the end. However, it was sort of a cinematic buzz kill and I ended up running off and starting the Tutors tv series.
Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956)
World Middleweight Champion
July 16, 1947– June 10, 1948
So, with a few of the romantic classic films under my belt it was time to move to sports.
I had never heard of this film and was actually pretty reluctant to give it a try. Paul Newman in a sports film I hadn't heard of??? Well, it did win an award for cinematography so... figured I would give it a shot.
And yes... of course I loved the film. The film covers a lot of ground and feels emotionally deeper then some of the other sports films I have watched. It also didn't feel as emotionally manipulative as say "The Champ" or "Real Steel". And so continues my cinematic love affair with Paul Newman... damn him!
Raging Bull (1980)
World Middleweight Champion
June 16, 1949 – February 14, 1951
It really was sort of by chance that I watched two Middleweight boxing films back to back. Which is nice to watch two similar themes but with completely different directing styles.
Girl Most Likely (2013)
Actually this was sort of fun. I think I might have liked the film better if I didn't just re-watch "Bridesmaids" or the entire third season of "Glee".
I liked this film and found it surprisingly enjoyable. Afterwards however is the feeling of being slightly cheated. The relationship between Oliver and Anna is painfully dull. What makes the film bearable to watch is the side story of Hal and his late in life coming out. Ah, and the dog... So, it really it feels like 'here is a boring story' where your given clips from an interested story just so you don't walk out of the theater.
Still not bad and thankfully I was spared any full frontal nudity from Ewan McGregor.
Splendor in the Grass (1961)
OK, now don't misunderstand my rating of this film. As this is pretty much one of the most LOATHSOME romantic films I have ever watched. Between going to the hospital for 'blue balls', female hysteria which also seems to be brought on by 'not getting laid', there is the sensitive treatment of 'asking for it' and gang rape.
So... pretty much I hated everything about this film. Except for Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty both of whom give remarkable performances. What spares this film from being zero stars is the historical significance of the film and being thankful that cinema and society has made a few strides since this film was made.
The To Do List (2013)
I watched this film right after "Splendor in the Grass" which really managed to raise my opinion of both films. It was sort of fun to watch a sex comedy from the female perspective. Still, it is just another sex comedy and Aubrey Plaza's blasé style of comedy is something I have never found very funny.
Still, I was thankful for the bizarre coincidence that brought me to watch both films back to back.
I tend to be rather harsh in my review of 'coming of age' films. Still, this was sort of a surprise and fun to watch. Being a 'thumbsucker' could easily be any type of teen anxiety issue. The only down side to the film is that I think many teens have more serious issues and this film if anything is too lighthearted.
Film Noir! Fritz Lang! Well, that was horribly disappointing. The first 15min of the film sort of set up the whole film and your left with nothing to guess about.
Another charming film from Studio Ghibli. Interesting to see similar characters from other films but not my favorite this far.
Sports film? Hum, more like another romantic comedy that reminded me too much of "Down with Love" and/or "Intolerable Cruelty" but not as funny or interesting as ether film.
In The House (2012)
I watched "Swimming Pool" and then this film back to back, which was sort of a good thing. The problem I had with the film was purely one of language. It was difficult to understand some of the literary points made when the translation is for a film.
Sita Sings the Blues (2009)
A very interesting version of the Hundu story about Sita and Rama. If nothing else it does help put a few Bollywood films into perspective.
A classic from Michael Powell. The start of the film was a bit rough. I understand why the story was told from a 'flashback perspective' but really necessary.
Terribly Happy (2008)
A dark and surreal film from Denmark and not directed by Lars von Trier! This reminded me a little of "The Bothersome Man" (2006) from Norway but thankfully this film didn't feel like there was some inside joke you just weren't getting.
Glory Road (2006)
Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)
Well, this wasn't like anything I was expecting. It isn't the typical gangster glorified life of crime nor is it one of those sappy 'kids need a mentor' films. The ending is as disturbing as it is touching. When they say "They don't make them like they used to" that would include films like this.
I still had this on my list of 'must watch' films. It wasn't that I couldn't remember the film it was that I couldn't remember if the film was as dark and creepy as I remembered. Yep, pretty dark film and one that I wouldn't have a problem watching again.
OK, so there is pretty much nothing politically correct about this film. Still, I was surprised by how much fun this film was to watch. Watching Johnny Weissmuller run up trees got a bit tedious but aside from that an enjoyable film. Not sure why this one has a lower rating then the follow up film "Tarzan and His Mate".
Look they made Superman more 'gritty' and 'real'.... lmaf... *gasp*.... More REAL.... rotfl... *ha*.
OMG, I wish they would make a more REALIST movie about unicorns and that Lucky Charms dude. YES! I got a great idea for the next film. Superman and Lucky the leprechaun team up!
OK, now this wasn't as bad as the last Superman film but it was pretty darn boring. The non-linear editing made the Superman back story more bearable to sit through. The most interesting idea that was brought up by the film was 'how would people really react to an alien'. How would the religious groups react? But don't worry that is safely by-passed and then there is an epic fight scene which seemed to fix everything.
I liked this film the story is definitely one of those 'inspiring' stories that leaves you reaching for the tissue. Yet, that was the primary focus of the film... the emotional aspect. For an emotional journey not enough information or time was spent with most the players on the team.
So, great story, great actors... just a little questionable about focusing the film on an emotional journey.
Mein bester Feind (2011)
Five by Five
Yay, so I had all my movies lined up and then Blockbuster shut it doors... adding another level of 2013 being sort of a 'movie fail' year. Still, I did manage to find the remaining films. So, instead of 3 films a month like I initially planned it came down to watching 4 films in November and 4 in December. Again this boils down to me being ether lazy or clueless.
I was really surprised by the film. This isn't the first film to deal with violent behavior. In that regard it reminded me a little of "Chopper" (2000) but with much better directing and acting. A stylized story where the true story of Bronson almost falls on the side of surreal.
Son of Rambow (2008)
I really enjoyed this film. Especially the overlapping of a traditional 'kids film' and behind the scenes of movie making. So, that you wind up with a film that works on many different levels and can be seen through different views. I would really like to see more films written or directed by Garth Jennings.
An erotic thriller with a twist. This wasn't a 'mind fuck' so much as just something to give you pause, think for a bit and move on.
Hum, what to say about a "thriller" where I got so bored I turned it off half way through.... hum... 'not thrilling'. The only reason I can see to watch this film is to see Liam Hemsworth shirtless which... happens in the first half of the film so you really don't need to watch the whole thing.
Cinema Diary for 2013
The Year of The Snake
This is a scrapbook of ideas, impressions and information about the movies I watch. It is basic, rough and raw in an effort to expand my personal viewing experiences. This is a creative exercise not a critical one. I hope you enjoy.
Diary Entries for 2013
Nov to Dec | Aug to Oct | July | May & June | March & April | Feb | Jan |
Diary Entries for 2012
Oct, Nov & Dec | September | August | July | June | May | April | March | February | January
Diary Entries for 2011
October thru December | September | August | July | January
Diary Entries for 2010
December | November | October | September | August | July
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